|1st||4:16||NOE||1-0||EV||Zach Aston-Reese (25)||Ryan Rosenthal/1, Nolan Stevens/4|
|1st||7:12||NOE||2-0||EV GW||Zach Aston-Reese (26)||Nolan Stevens/5, Eric Williams/12|
|1st||12:12||NOE||3-0||PP||Adam Gaudette (23)||Nolan Stevens/6, Zach Aston-Reese/29|
|2nd||1:47||CON||1-3||EV||Maxim Letunov (7)||Evan Richardson/15, Karl El-Mir/4|
|2nd||16:28||NOE||4-1||EV||Zach Aston-Reese (27)||Eric Williams/13, Ryan Rosenthal/2|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Rob Nichols (L, 4-7-4)||60:00||4||8||8||9||25|
|Ryan Ruck (W, 15-11-4)||59:54||1||13||5||6||24|
BOSTON - Zach Aston-Reese recorded his third hat trick of the season on the way to a four-point evening as the Northeastern men's ice hockey team (15-12-5, 8-9-3) completed the weekend sweep on Connecticut on Senior Night at Matthews Arena, 4-1.
The victory moves Northeastern into sole possession of eighth place in the Hockey East standings entering the final weekend of the regular season. The Huskies are one point behind Merrimack for seventh and three behind Providence and Vermont for fifth. NU has now won four in a row and eight of their last 10 overall.
It was a record setting night for Aston-Reese, who moved into a tie for 17th in career scoring at Northeastern with 141 points (62 goals, 79 assists), and became the first Husky since 1986 to record 25 goals and 25 assists in a single-season. He is also the only Husky in the last 30 years to net three hat tricks in the same season.
Northeastern bolted out to a 3-0 first period lead thanks to the play of the Aston-Reese, Nolan Stevens (three assists) and Ryan Rosenthal (two assists) line. Aston-Reese finished off a pair of plays from the trio within the first 7:12 of the game to give the hosts a quick two-goal edge.
Adam Gaudette would then tie the school record for power play goals in a season (14) with 7:48 remaining to extend the NU lead to three.
Out of the intermission, Connecticut made it a two-goal game again on Maxin Letunov's seventh of the year, but Aston-Reese regained his team's three-goal edge in the late stages of the final frame to close out the scoring.
Sophomore Ryan Ruck steered aside 24 Connecticut shots throughout the evening while Rob Nichols had 25 saves at the other end as Northeastern outshot UConn 29-25 in the game.
- Northeastern drew first blood just 4:16 into the game on Aston-Reese's 25th of the season. Nolan Stevens began the play by carrying the puck down the left side and tossing it behind the goal. Rosenthal chased it down, won a puck battle and dished it out to Aston-Reese alone in front, who quickly settled the puck before patiently getting Nichols to commit and tucking it inside the right post for the score.
- Aston-Reese struck again less than three minutes later with his second of the evening as the Huskies flew up ice in transition. After Eric Williams scooped up a loose puck in the defensive zone and carried to center ice before finding Stevens. Stevens then carried it down the right side and threaded a pass behind a UConn defenseman and on to the stick of Aston-Reese for the redirection past Nichols.
- Gaudette gave the hosts a 3-0 advantage with 7:48 remaining in the period with the Huskies on the power play. After Jeremy Davies drew a hooking call, Aston-Reese flung the puck on goal from the left side before Stevens sent it right back across the crease to a waiting Gaudette on the doorstep, who promptly deposited it home for his 23rd of the year.
- Connecticut cut into the deficit less than two minutes into the second period on Letunov's seventh of the season when he pounded home a rebound attempt following a pair of initial bids from Evan Richardson and Karl El-Mir in front of Ruck's crease.
- Aston-Reese completed the hat trick with 3:32 remaining in the second period to give Northeastern a 4-1 edge. After winning a face-off in the attacking zone, Rosenthal knocked the puck up to Williams at the right post. His slap shot whistled just wide and rolled out to Aston-Reese stationed at the left wall. He then flung a wrister through a couple bodies and past Nichols for his 27th of the year.
Stats of the game:
- Northeastern is now 8-0-0 all-time against Connecticut
- Aston-Reese became the first Husky to record 25 goals and 25 assists in the same season since Jay Heinbuck and Rod Isbister during the 1985-86 season.
- Aston-Reese's 27 goals this season are the most since J.F. Aube had 28 during the 1993-94 season.
- Aston-Reese's three hat tricks this season are the most for a Husky in the last 30 years. He is the first NCAA Division I player since Cody Wydo (Robert Morris) in 2013-14 to record three hat tricks in a season.
- Aston-Reese is now tied for 17th in all-time scoring at Northeastern with 141 points, tied for 21st in career goals (62) and tied for 20th in career assists (79).
- He is also tied for 13th in both single-season points (56) and goals (27).
- Gaudette tied the school record for power play goals in a season with 14, held by Rod Isbister during the 1984-85 season
- Both Nolan Stevens (three) and Ryan Rosenthal (two) tied career highs in assists, while Williams had a career-high two helpers.
The road ahead:
- The Huskies close out the regular season next weekend with a pair of games at Maine, beginning on Friday night at 7 p.m.